Student diagnosed with rare cancer is ‘an inspiration’
MAIA RYALL was the youngest member of Young People, Big Voice at Southern Cross University from 2007 until 2011.
The passionate advocate for the young often spoke on their behalf on what was important to them, like entertainment, health and transport.
Last year, the dynamic Trinity Catholic College student was diagnosed with a very rare, aggressive angiosarcoma in the blood vessels of her left breast.
Despite accounting for only 0.04% of all breast cancer diagnoses, angiosarcoma can spread quickly through the blood system to affect other organs, bones, and tissues.
"I was with friends and family when I found out in October last year," she said,
"I'm pleased they were with me."
"It was first thought to be breast cancer, but after exploratory surgery and biopsies, it was diagnosed as angiosarcoma."
"No-one really knew how to treat it, so I opted for radiotherapy as there was no evidence that chemotherapy would improve my situation.
"The thought of dying was there, but as time passed, things seemed to get easier."
Maia lost most of Term 4 from school but her remarkable courage and strength saw her start her HSC in hospital in Brisbane, before returning to complete her studies at school.
Trinity welfare head Adam Mays said Elizabeth was "a remarkable and inspirational person who, through her strength of character, has taken it in her stride".